Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Vienna Attack: Statement by the Party of Labour of Austria

Statement by the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Austria (PdA) on the terrorist attack in Vienna:

We condemn yesterday's attack in Vienna, which according to initial information was carried out by a sympathizer of the "Islamic State". Our sympathy goes to the victims of this heinous terrorist attack, all civilians and police officers who were injured and all relatives who lost people.

Religious fundamentalism, as we see it today, is a product of imperialism and serves capital as an instrument of domination and power. In the countries of the Near and Middle East, it is precisely the most reactionary religious groups and states which are the closest allies of imperialism in the struggle against democratic and revolutionary movements. 

Already in times of colonial administration in the Near and Middle East, the imperialists used Islamic fundamentalism to divide the growing movement for national self-determination and independence. Thus, anti-imperialist movements such as in Egypt or Syria could only assert themselves against Islamism by fighting against it. In Iran, the alliance of progressive and democratic forces with Islamism in the struggle against the Shah's dictatorship ended in the bloody suppression and persecution of democrats and revolutionaries. In the 1980s, the CIA supported Islamist groups in Afghanistan, from which the Taliban, among others, emerged, in their fight against the elected socialist government, which was supported by the Soviet Union.

The "war on terror" proclaimed since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the aggressions against Afghanistan and Iraq have not changed this. In Libya and Syria, imperialism has supported and financed reactionary gangs which have led to the creation of the Islamic State, and various Islamic militias, thousands of which are deployed as mercenaries by Turkey in the attack by Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Islamism - like any religious fanaticism - fulfills its purposes also here in Austria; terrorist attacks and staged cultural clashes divide the working class and prevent it from the organised struggle against capitalism. As at the beginning of the so-called Corona crisis, the government is again invoking national unity and Austrian values, flanked by racist and sectarian agitation by the extreme right.

We oppose the national unity conjured up by the government and the religious fundamentalist, culture-fighting and right-wing extremist propaganda with a combative front of the working class. Solidarity instead of hatred! Only a front of the working people can eliminate the roots of religious fundamentalism and terrorism, of imperialism. The only way out is socialism!

Vienna, 3 November 2020.